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SCCI To Study Sharjah’s Competitiveness Following The Results Of The “Business Activities Report”

Report ranks UAE among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of property registration

Sharjah, UAE, April 25, 2009: The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) recently launched a competitive study within the emirate following the release of the results of the ‘Business Activities Report’ conducted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The report ranked the UAE 8th in the world in terms of property registration and 4th in terms of ease of tax and electronic payments.

The Business Activities Report outlined the results of a study on the regulatory environment governing business activities, intended to help countries develop their business potential and thus increase their investment opportunities. It explored the ease of work within private businesses, the regulatory standards followed by government procedures, reforms, and best international practices that met the highest standards of quality and excellence.

Hussein Al Mahmoudi, Director General, SCCI, said, &This study reflects our commitment to enhancing our competitiveness and achieving excellence in various business sectors. The Chamber plans to further develop the business community by re-evaluating its strategies and methodologies in the management of business and industrial activities within the emirate. We will base this on the results of global studies and research on the integration of sustainable development within the regulatory environment of the business community.”

SCCI has been adopting several strategies to increase competitiveness throughout Sharjah and enhance the emirate’s image as a vital economic hub. These include the establishment of the Business Council for Sustainable Development UAE (BCSD-UAE); the promotion of partnerships between the private and public sectors; improved business support in terms of operation, innovation and growth; and the adoption of the best economic, environmental and social practices.

SCCI also recently launched a Development Strategy for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Sharjah to provide a platform for these organizations to actively participate in national investment and development objectives. In addition, the Chamber is pushing for the development of an excellent administrative and legal environment and strengthening partnerships and communications between establishments.

Other goals include upgrades to collective and individual marketing mechanisms; unemployment reduction; the adoption of more advanced technology; the optimal use of skills and capabilities; and the promotion of excellence and creativity.

As part of its strategy to promote investment and to compete with the international markets, the Chamber has been focusing its efforts on the implementation of a ‘General Work Methods’ initiative. This program involves the adoption of sustainable development to ensure compatibility between short-term and long-term interests; the identification of responsibilities and priorities to increase the competitive attitude of staff, particularly by adopting best practices used by leading international companies; and the development of the necessary frameworks for meeting Sharjah’s evolving needs.

In addition to these, SCCI also plans to organise seminars, workshops, and conferences on work methods and responsibilities within companies and among their members. The Chamber’s initiatives are not limited to the local level, but extend across the Arab World as well. It recently organised the 1st Arab Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for businesses, which focused on the social, national and humanitarian aspects of economic development and involvement in public works.

The Chamber aims to implement various other initiatives, such as the establishment of the Sharjah Centre for International Commercial Arbitration which will support dispute resolution among SCCI members, individuals, and commercial organisations. It also plans to establish work groups under its umbrella representing a number of the key local economic sectors, with the aim of enhancing relations with Chamber members. These groups will study proposals on the development of industries and forward these to the concerned government agencies.

“We aim to create a robust business platform based on competitiveness and principles of transparency in order to facilitate investments and promote the competitive features of companies amidst a rapidly changing world. We are especially concerned about Small and Medium Enterprises, which normally face financial constraints and low productivity. The UAE was ranked 3rd globally and first in the MENA region in the US East West Nation Brand Perception Report released in the first quarter of this year; this underlines the success of national strategies that promote the creation of more investment opportunities and the development of a competitive environment capable of enhancing productivity, increasing growth rates, and supporting local economic diversity,” added Al Mahmoudi.

The competitiveness of the business sector is assessed based on key elements such as infrastructure, the macro economy and human development. It also includes health, basic and higher education, efficiency of labour markets, technical capability, market size, creativity, and innovation. In line with this, the Chamber will conduct its competitiveness study according to standards which require the adoption of effective policies and measures on the micro-economic level.

The countries included in the Business Activities Report are classified according to 10 key indicators related to the business system. One of these is Business Activities Initiation, which refers to the streamlining of procedures to establish companies and the reduction of costs to limited liability companies to comply with legal and administrative requirements when starting projects. Another indicator, Protecting Investors, involves three aspects related to the transparency of transactions, responsibility for self-dealing, and the ability of shareholders to discipline employees and the managers for poor performance.

SCCI will continue to focus on launching leading initiatives to develop the emirate’s business community. It particularly aims to support Small and Medium Enterprises and economic projects of high potential through the implementation of best practices and innovative concepts that foster a more competitive environment, support the national economy, and advance sustainable development in Sharjah.

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